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Uhuru Kenyatta’s CBA Bank In Bid To Buy Kigali Lender

Commercial Bank of Africa ( CBA ), which is majority-owned by the Kenyatta family, is in the running to acquire the Rwandese subsidiary of Uganda’s Crane Bank in what marks the latest expansion of the wealthy family’s empire.

Check also: Uhuru Kenyatta’s Family To Buy Stake In Distressed Bank In DR Congo

CBA already operates an equivalent of mobile banking service M-Shwari in Rwanda using a microfinance licence. The Nairobi-based lender is looking to outbid rival banks that are also seeking to purchase Crane Bank Rwanda branches currently owned by Dfcu Bank.

The Bank of Uganda last October took over the management of Crane Bank,  at the time the country’s fourth-largest lender — due to under-capitalisation and in January sold it to Dfcu, which is now seeking to offload the Rwandan unit.

If CBA is successful in its bid!

The mid-tier Kenyan lender will have a physical presence in four countries, including Uganda and Tanzania, moving it closer to its target of having operations in 10 African countries.

The Business Daily’s sources indicate that Dfcu’s sale of part of its Rwandan business is now awaiting regulatory approval and that the deal should be complete by the end of this month.

CBA had not responded to our queries on the pending acquisition by the time this story was published.

The transaction price and timelines for conclusion of the deal are not yet clear. The Kenyatta business empire has in recent years made strategic acquisitions in the hospitality, dairy, media and banking sectors.

Isaac Awuondo, CBA Group’s managing director, has previously stated that the lender plans to set up shop in all East African nations, with branches in South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.

The bank has also said it is targeting Mozambique, DRC and Ethiopia through an online presence. CBA has two branches in Uganda, 11 in Tanzania and 33 in Kenya.

Regional expansion is becoming important as the East Africa Community (EAC) common market continues to take shape, opening the way for free movement of factors of production in a market of over 130 million people.

Source: The East African

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